Dedicated to Blackie, Oreo, WhiteT, Joker, The Foot, Butterflies and Asset – without your content and support this year. I likely would not of even made the gathering, let alone be writing about it. MCL homies. -Hazin
I am going to try and keep this short and on point this year, I do recommend you read it as I will mention a give away of my 2012 press pass and other rare gathering items, somewhere in the mix. Now I know there are some crazy collectors out there (I was at the psychopathic auction). I have heard of artists, etc selling their passes after the gathering for some fundage, but I have never seen anyone give away a pass before. Let alone a older press pass – most guys hang these up in their studios or keep it as a memento. Very rare gathering merch for one lucky ninja. It has no value at future events, but is a laminated Gathering Press Pass from 2012 – zombies on it even, the RV pass is pretty neat as well. There are two huge full quality photo galleries at the bottom of the review, if you use them please link to this review and True Juggalo Family’s facebook. http://fb.com/truejuggalofam
Stale Points I plan on talking about since a lot of our readers dig my honesty on all things stale every year:
- Drugs – nuff said
- Super High Main Stage – would of been good had they done a live pay per view for the at home viewers, but unless you where 20-30 yards away from the stage and wanted to see what color the souls of their shoes where, this really sucked, they where insanely to high. It just made taking pictures rough.
- Contests, with the exception of the Miss Juggalette Contest we went back to leaning heavily on crowd participation. The tattoo contest rules changed between the early contestants and the late contestants, and even though every year is a slight improvement, it was as stale as ever when all was said and done. I am volunteering now to help plan, setup, hell i guess id even judge, etc next years tattoo contest. Good clean detailed and well placed tattoos should be winning. Unfinished and non-detailed tattoos should not be in the top three, and no offense to the winners but tattoos that are placed backwards should not be up there either. Judges in a hurry to leave, and changing the rules half way through the contest then leaning heavily on crowd participation leads to 3 of the last 8 contestants winning… STALE!
I would like to thank every one of our readers, but also everyone who stopped me or one of the TJF Crew/Helpers this year and expressed your deepest gratitude at what the site does for you, or what the facebook community does for you, we interact with our audience as much as possible and with 182k and growing daily on facebook its all because of you guys reppin TJF!
This is my hobby, and you ninjas is what keep me working on it daily. Everyone who stops me personally and compliments or wants to talk about my tattoo work: It’s by David Rich at Vesania Ink in Iowa City. Most importantly to all the Local Staff, the Security, the Hogrock Family, and to Psychopathic Records. Rob and Jason – was great to see you guys all over the grounds this year, at seminar, at events, at shows. Interacting with people. Above and beyond, as always I appreciate the invite and support we get in our attempt to support the label.
I also happen to have some of the best Gathering Neighbors, you might of heard of them. Faygoluvers. Psycho Scott and Scottie D, are just part of the gathering family for me and I really can’t imagine camping there without them. We added some newer neighbors this year and I hope they are back next year. Insane Ericand Hannah Monroe. My Gathering homies – there are way to many of you to list. Hashly, Erica, Gene Hooks, Sedated, Wes, Paul and Mary, Naomi, Burrito Man, Kat, Sharon, Kung Fu Vampire, Whitney Peyton, Boondox, Bukshot, Myzery, and many others who made sure to show TJF and myself some wicked clown love this year just to name a few! Everyone who bought TJF Charms or Decals this year – you ROCK!
The Journey – now many years ago, the gathering was a dream that slowly became a reality of our little local group just throwing some tents together, jamming into a vehicle like it was a clown car and making the trip. It evolved to last year multiple vehicles going down together, including the now tired little RV that thinks it can (its now 4 years of making it there and back) Last year we had a blow out, and this year we had the alternator go out, however we left a day before the other cars, so as it turned out, when the batteries decided to die out on us about 30 miles from Mt. Vernon, Il and the walmart there. We where totally alone, we coasted to a stop on the side of a long dark stretch of highway with no lights and slowly dying electronics.
None of the google’d 24/7 tow places where answering their phones, and eventually after what seemed like forever, local law enforcement stopped and hooked us up with getting a couple of car batteries delivered to us. (Quite a bit more expensive then having pizza delivered to you). DID HE SAY LAW ENFORCEMENT? – had a great long chat with the officer and no problems what so ever. This got us to Walmart where we stocked up on everything we would need for the week, and a battery charger. I bought a fishing pole and what not for the fishing contest I told myself I was not missing this year, as the only contest I will likely have a chance to win since I get the Bone every year at the tattoo contest. Guess what – I slept through the fishing contest! One of my biggest fails this year. More on contests coming soon.
We made it down to hogrock with no other issues. Something we noticed long before the gates where open. The local staff, as well as the Psychopathic staff this year where not only on top of their game, but extremely friendly, open, and great to deal with. Tim (hogdaddy) who in past years has been great to TJF, was the only one who seemed overly stressed, and upset at times. That’s to be expected thought, its his land and has to be nerve wracking. Tim’s neighbor hooked us up with some much needed hot and free pizza on Tuesday and we helped her out with her utility vehicle, neighborly love for the win!
The Parking Lot: The partying seemed to be mellow to me when I was exposed to it, compared to previous years. I did not get to take many pics or video as I would of liked up there this year, also did not get to take any setup pics that have been hugely popular in previous years. There were reports of multiple people leaving the parking lot area in a ambulance due to bad drugs which is extremely stale, and one of the only things I have to say in a negative manner this year. Drugs! if that’s your thing, know what you’re doing please.
So when it came time for the gates to open, we were right up front. (It is really hard to capture the site you have your mind set on, and hold down the whole surrounding area for 4-5 other vehicles coming who are not going to make it through the gates for up to 7 hours later). So yes I do try my hardest to be up front every year, even being what was the first vehicle through the gates this year, I still had to talk people out of trying to hold down the TJF and FLH 2nd stage balla sites that we have been around for multiple years now, as the people who got in on foot or early had tried to confiscate them for themselves. Now I am getting a little ahead of myself, they lined up 4 rows of vehicles at the check in point.
Will Call stuff was figured out right at gate time which is huge improvement over last year. We were in front of one of the 4 lines, I had the TJF press passes so we could enter the grounds and take pictures for all you ninjas out there. Security entered the RV and searched it for bad stuff, we were told if we were found to have bad stuff later we would be escorted off the grounds. I have never had a problem at the gathering, and have always abided by the rules, nothing was found and we where granted access with no issues. I had to constantly direct people away from stealing spots I was holding for @FLH, The other 2 TJF Vehicles, @Hannah Monroe, and @Insane Eric. There really is no marker of the balla site you are getting physically at the grounds. If this year had not been a very low population I am not sure that I could of accomplished this. I am hoping next year they offer us the chance to buy the spots outright like they did main stage balla passes: rather then just a 2nd stage balla pass, or even slightly early access for media (one can dream).
It was clear at this point that cell phone signal was just not going to happen anymore for me at this point, in years past, it was hit or miss, but it had been quite some time since I could text the rest of our crew back farther in the line, the FLH crew, or the other people we planned on having as our neighbors. I guess Ill mention now that the WiFi Signal that brought you ninjas up to the hour video footage, pictures, and news in previous years, just did not work for me this year. I could see it, but could not connect to it. I later found out the the WiFi company had some type of outage anyway, so very little information came out from TJF during the gathering which was pretty stale to be honest, I know a lot of people where hammering the site, facebook, and twitter expecting some content. I apologize, but was out of my hands.
During this time I mostly – missed what was going on over at 2nd stage. I took a brief moment to go catch Ill Wit It perform some tracks and snap some pictures but mostly I was setting up my stuff and keeping the area clear for my homies. 2nd stage host however was a little on the annoying side, and multiple people complained about him throughout the whole week. I tend to tune stuff like that out – but just going off what others complaints where, maybe someone different next year to talk between sets? I was finally able to relax a little bit once the TJF Crew, Insane Eric, and the FLH RV pulled in and got plugged in, then shortly after Hannah Monroe (Author of upcoming book “Growing Up Wicked”) showed up and they blocked off the remaining area with their truck. I headed out to check out what was different, snap some pics, get some gopro footage, run into old friends, and make some new ones even.
Before long it was time for Main Stage, Dizzy who was unfortunatley the only Funk Volume Artist to perform this year, took the stage and did his tracks – beginning main stage acts do not draw much of a crowd so I was not to shocked to see a very small amount of people for his set, I figured a lot of people where still pitching tents, etc. He was energetic and put on a good show. Before it was over we continued to venture around the grounds when we noticed the line was as far back as you could see, so we went up to the old walk in gate.
The line going both up the hill and down the road where both as far back as you could see. Tons of people yet to make it inside and Zug Izland was taking the stage any minute. Some better planning needs done next year on this, the day early at noon access in years past would of prevented this however I am sure there is a lot of issues on the back end of things we do not see in making that happen.
Zug Izland takes the stage and Violent J joins them which really just kicks off the gathering for me, as a 30+ year old guy who’s seen both on stage many times, you know there is something special in the air when it gives you goosebumps. Syn later said that it was a on the fly decision and Violent J literally just painted up and joined them at the last minute. One of the gathering highlights, not just a Wednesday Highlight. More stuff like this happening would be amazing. I enjoy metal – and love metal acts at the gathering, Zug being back in the mix is great. Epic performance, and got some great pictures.
Lil Wyte put on a great set – typical gatherings he would perform on 2nd stage, so was nice to see him up on main stage, and one of his crew was throwing out baggies of “something” for the audience, most of which landed in the photo pit, and where handed out by Staff/Security/Press to the audience. One even landed in my lens hood and was quickly snatched out by a ninja on the other side of the barricade, got me to smile, but try and be a little more gentle when grabbing at my lens for your gram of goodies please.
Boondox – Bearded up, painted up, and alone on the stage was the start of the gathering for many people the crowd was filling in very well at this point, and Boondox just puts on one hell of a show, musically, lyrically, etc has always been one of my favorite artists as well as live performers. There where some sound issues during his set, and he said something about a busted rib at one point, but it was barely noticeable.
ABK – Typical ABK set – full feather head dress figure walks out shortly before ABK takes the stage and rips into his well known tracks, that garnish massive crowd participation during every song. It was hard to believe main stage was about over at this point, it seemed like we where just outside the gates bored, and then all of a sudden a massive energy explosion that ABK highlighted with his stage presence.
Before the gates opened, I knew my hardest part of the gathering would be making it to everything I wanted to see and do, even though the lineup seemed what some would call weak compared to previous years, there was so much stuff packed into the 12-5am time slots every night, I knew I was going to miss stuff I wanted to do. Friend of mine, Insane Eric was up on 2nd stage next so of course that was a easy choice, go check his site out: insaneserics website. Not only is he a GoTJ performer, he is a artist of the graphic flavor and you most likely have worn something recently he drew up for hatchetgear.com. At this point I was like a pinball machine. Over to see Smakola do his set at the Freakshow Stage. Was hoping to maybe catch some Dirty Worms or Kabosh surprise, but no luck.
Then back to see Freddy Grimes on 2nd stage. I choose Freddy Grimes over Legz Diamond because I just seen Legz Diamond perform recently and have not seen Freddy Grimes since last years GoTJ. Body parts where flying, girls where dancing in the cages, it was a great show. I capped out my night with Wolfpacon the Freakshow stage. I must be getting old because at the end of their set I was just done, I needed some type of place to sit back and pass out and figured I better get back to at least my camp site if not into the RV. I wanted to catch Onyx but the whole setup and everything tired me out I guess. I’ve recently learned I am not invincible and it sucks, bum knee, bum elbow, and I get tired??? WTF!
Thursday: I got up pretty early. I had plans of hitting the auction with the crazy idea maybe I could bid on something and get lucky. I got there a little late after eating and getting dressed for the day. The prices where crazy, and I am really glad that the proceeds were going to a good cause, I was just super shocked at how many wealthy ninjas there are out there…. I shot some random video you can see over on the YOUTUBE CHANNEL
I intended on going to the Faygo Launching contest to enter and do my best – having a hand full of Faygo Armageddon’s under my belt I think I have a pretty good technique going, however with the rain, and people stopping by the camp site to chat me up, I just did not make it over there. One of the TJF crew got some video of it though. I was not going to miss the Psychopathic Seminar – hoping to get the “Biggest Thing we have Ever Announced” on video was my goal – even though that never really happened at the gathering leaving me to wonder what that announcement was, The Psychopathic Seminar was great, Rob, Jason, Kuma, and even Billy Bill took the stage and talked about the inner workings and current happenings at the label. Jason is my main contact with the label and a new addition. His introduction by Rob, and by himself at the seminar made it clear he is the right guy for what he does, and then after seeing him all week all over the place. I am impressed. You can watch the seminars (for some reason my camera split it in 2) here:
I missed the costume contest because of the seminar, but some of my previous gathering charms where on the vest of the Winner! Congrats Will on the win, and props to Oreo and Heather who I thought had epic costumes but did not place (From what I heard to much crowd participation put a store bought custom in top three). On to the Zug Izland Seminar, very laid back and mellow seminar that a lot of ninjas skipped out on, it did run extremely long and I missed Super Smash Bros somehow which sucks, however was good to see Syn, Mike, and the newest member Johnny up there just relaxed and telling stories. You can see the video here:
Ok around this time it became very apparent that something bad and very out of the ordinary had happened. When questioning what was going on I was informed someone had passed away due to a apparent drug over dose, not only where the police on site, the coroner was as well. It does not matter that this person was not a Juggalo, he did not need to die, he came to our music festival for a good time and things took a horrible turn for him. I hope he and his family have found some kind of peace.
The drug bridge was shut down during the time the police where in the grounds, and this in fact only made things worse. The drug bridge is avoidable if you choose not to be there, I have never had a problem in years past, even being a “press” member with multiple cameras on me. However when the Drug Dealers moved 50 feet from the bridge to the hill, they took it upon themselves to threaten physical harm to people who just had cameras on them, not just myself but females. I heard it multiple times and had to stop multiple times. This is uncalled for as the clearly juggalo press has no intention of taking your picture doing your scummy activity and posting it to our site or facebook. If you are at a musical festival, expect there to be cameras. The drug bridge eventually went back to normal after attempts to keep it clear with guard rails and what not.
You will never eliminate drugs at music festivals, its not just the gathering. However, if your there to just make a buck and your going to stand there and sell your drugs all day – have some fucking respect for yourself and others – don’t sell hard drugs to local teens there just to get high, something like the drug bridge will always exist – Pulling in law enforcement though and having the shit that’s making people sick or dead and the people selling it dealt with might be a option of keeping them from collecting in one spot. If we could get back to the weed and minor pysch’s that people use to enjoy there week that would be amazing, but I don’t see that even happening. /rant off/
Rahzel: Typically its acts like this that I love about the gathering, the acts I would never go see anywhere else. The MC Hammers, the George Clintons, etc. However I just don’t think the crowd connected with Rahzel very much – he is extremely talented and was neat to watch, however I had the feeling that many felt they could of just watched that on youtube or something, and it left me feeling very similar.
Mayday: I have been enjoying maydays music for quite some time. They sound amazing, lyrically are always on fire, and they put on a great live show, Vocally and Lyrically I always connect with what they doing.
Rydas: Seeing them on main stage was kind of weird, they put on what you expect to see out of the rydas, there was extreme speculation during and after their set and even at the Twiztid Show I went to this past week, about dropping masks during the Rydas set. ABK said something in his seminar about being hot is why he dropped his down a little ways, I did not get a chance to ask Jamie or Paul at their concert in Des Moines, but I am sure people are just taking things a lil to far with speculation.
Big Hoodoo: I missed the photo pit part of his set due to having to go change camera batteries, I expected Sevendust to be next and know it takes a bit of time to setup for a metal band. So was pretty upset when I heard Hoodoo going and I was missing it. Oreo did get some pictures though, and I got some of him during the Deadly Medly. Now before he took the stage, the merch booth guys where having trouble getting people to take the CD seriously, however that night after main stage they sold out of his CD. That says something about his live performance right there. I hope he is out on tour with the clowns on these upcoming tour dates so all those opposed to giving him a shot, can see his live performance.
Sevendust: METAL at the gathering, not nearly enough of it this year, made me miss acts like Mushroomhead who should be there every year. SevenDust put on a great show and you could tell the crowd was wanting more and more. Hopefully we get them back with some more metal flavor next year.
Tech N9ne: Always a highlight at the gathering, stage presence is crazy, he puts one one of the best live shows in the industry – the lighting is always epic (as a photographer, you never say that) He took what looked like a muddy boot to the the face at one point (Its the gathering) and didn’t let it phase him. He played a few tracks off his new release “Something Else” including Straight out the Gate and Fragile which are songs I listen to daily.
After Tech-N9ne my original plan was to catch Drive By, however had to refuel myself, and by the time I had my shit together Whitney Peyton was taking the stage. She put on a great performance and Crowd Walked… no not crowd surfed, she walked on the crowd – it was pretty awesome as she kept the show going while they held her up. I then headed over to the RV and 2nd stage to catch Jelly Roll and Krizz Kaliko with a quick trip over to see Kaiju Wrestling – Now this is the first time I had been excited to see wresting at the GoTJ, really just not been into wrestling since I was a kid and it was all about the Ultimate Warrior back then. After catching just the tail end of Kaiju Wrestling, I was super impressed, hope they bring it back again next year. Funny, fun, and entertaining.
Dark Lotus: Photo Pit was closed to the press on this: got because it was “Dark Lotus” by security – im pretty sure most of us with press credentials has been in the same room with every member at some point so I’m not sure what the true story was, however as they came out in Black and Red, and there was virtually no stage lighting, and the crowd was packed, getting pictures for this scrub just did not happen. To top all that staleness off – the sound seemed bad their whole set and a huge handmade monster was dead center of the crowd so lots of people couldn’t see the stage, this thing is hard to explain but it had poles holding it up by hand. The one nice part was all the guys hugged it out at the end, leaving a feeling that this would not be the last time we will see Lotus on stage together.
This is the night I went over and caught part of Juggalo Night Court – the case I seen was slow going and a little boring and the yawning had started, although I heard many tales of Juggalo Night court being epic like the old days, I however did not catch it at any other night. I ventured back to the camp site before the case ended to hang out with my locals and whoever decided to swing by, as the sun came up – I crawled into the camper and took a nap till the sounds of the gathering woke me up in the morning.
Friday: I woke up early and hit up the tattoo contest alone as most my friends where still sleeping. I got signed up and was told I was number 10, figuring there was going to be 20 contestants like usual I thought this was a good setup. Starting to look at some of the other entries in the contest. There were quite a few high detailed pieces that could of easily been winners. I had a top 5 in my head from the start not including mine which most people tell me should win every year… Anyway. None of the high detailed pieces that I felt like should win even placed. Judges were Sugar Slam, Vamp, and AnthrAxx Lette. Vamp and AnthrAxx Lette both seemed impressed with my Ink’s extreme color detail in a small area, I have two amazing color detail upper arm pieces, Sugar Slam though said right off the bat they would only look at one arm, said it had great lines and shading was done with me. Vamp and AnthrAxx kept looking, and touching and going more into detail about it being set on a stage with curtains, etc. I was thinking maybe this was going to go ok. At this point the crowd was still relatively small. When done they put you behind the tent and you could not see what was going on inside or hear much of anything. I thought the following tattoo should of won:
It had crazy detail and shading, and is the only ink of the Jeckel Brother faces that I have seen that compares to mine. He was also a early contestant who got praised for detail. So out back when they started getting to contestant 30, and you could hear much more people in the tent, it started to concern me, less was coming from the judges as it seemed people where just getting pushed through. One Tattoo I seen was a stick figure. 3rd Place winner was a unfinished ankle piece if I remember right. The winners tattoos was a chaotic 2 arm piece I pictured up at the top, all placed backwards. It’s a cool tattoo and he seemed like a great dude, however they looked at both arms, and didn’t focus on detail, line work, shading, or what seemed like anything other then crowd participation. All 3 winners where in the last 8 contestants and had the most homies in the crowd.
I think the tattoo contest should be given a little more time, it should be broken down into 4 categories. Best Hatchetman, Best Jokers Cards, Best Portrait, Best Non-Categorey (twiztid, abk, blaze, etc themed tats) – then Best Overall. NO Non-Related Ink Allowed. Have contestants sign up early and pay 10 bucks a entry (This weeds out more junk). Someone familiar with tattoos to check them in and collect, can make sure its good and not stick figures and garbage that is going to waste time. Do 15-20 contestants in each of the 4 categories. Fuck the crowd participation, get 3 judges who want to be there, and are interested in other peoples tattoos and checking out the detail, shading, line work, design, etc. (Tattoo Artists would be a good choice if available). Rather then spend a ton of time introducing who the contestants are, where they are from, who did their ink, and letting a the crowd try and see their tattoo from positions they cant see any detail anyway. Narrow it down with judges to top 3 in each of the 4 categories. Call them up, introduce them, look at them again and judge the winner who will win a small plaque for best in that category. A small merch or food certificate to the runner ups. Once all 4 categories are complete, get all 4 winners on stage and select a Best Overall for the big plaque and bigger prize. Yes this will increase the time, but those interested would get up 2 hours earlier for this, pay to enter each category they think they can win in, etc. The entry fee could go to cover having additional plaques made and the merch/food winnings.
After getting the Bone at the Tattoo Contest – I Listened to 2nd stage acts till it was time for me to go catch the ABK Seminar – cooked up some Blue Waffles for people hanging out with me, and enjoyed the fresh air. Eventually I headed up to the seminar tent for the ABK Seminar: See the whole thing Here:
This is far enough to mention the Burrito Man – it is not the gathering unless you eat a Burrito from these ninjas, and I had 2 of them before the Main Stage this day. 5 bucks puts it cheaper then the vendor food, and they are there holding it down every year. Jesus was not there this year due to some health issues, but still the same good burritos – they sold me a 12 pack of Dr. Faygo which is impossible to find around here. DO NOT MISS BURRITO MAN!
I really did nothing else this afternoon but try and find a way to connect to the world with no success, and chat with people.
Brotha Lynch Hung and Trizz took the stage first and they always put on a show – both command attention as they move opposite across the stage from each other. Just seen them out on tour recently and this was a similar set, but still good to see them up in front of the GoTJ Crowd.
Soulfly: Should be a every year band, good hard hitting metal bands that come to the GoTJ multiple times are few and far between. The field split open and a group of muddy ninjas mosh’d it out while Soulfly performed their face thrashing tracks.
Blaze: Performed his hits, less flair then last years set, I don’t really remember anything special about it this year. He always has a mellow laid back approach and is always a crowd favorite.
Vanilla Ice – is a show, mix of genre’s and a huge stage presenee as well as inviting up tons of females to dance. This is always one of the premier live shows at the GoTJ when he performs. I don’t care who you are.
Twiztid: Huge Pot Leaf and 2 Bongs on the stage, as they bounced all over the stage feeding the crowd as much energy as the crowd was pumping it right back at them. The Abominationz heavy lined set was mixed with their juggalo classics that everyone gets down to. The Abominationz Tour is already back out and about again and this is not a performance to miss. Check them out locally ninjas.
Claas and Underground Avengers where the highlights of the late night fun at the gathering. Claas is so lively and animated on stage, its not something to miss. Then add in Bukshot and Boondox for the first ever UGA live performance. If you missed this. YOU FUCKED UP!
Saturday: Was a big Seminar Day, the ICP Seminar they announced the return of AMB and Boondox to Psychopathic Records, a Canada and a Australia tour, and Juggalo Day would be the Great Milenko Show! You can watch it and the Mystery Seminar which was Boondox and AMB answering questions below.
So this year, it was widely known that Miss Juggalette Contest was going to be different this year, it was being taken back by the Lettes Respect Movement, and it was a great show to watch – if you’ve ever been disgusted in past years by seeing the girls insert things (For me that kinda ruins any thoughts of having fun with that girl later… like that would ever happen). This year was the way it should be, and will continue to be. You can see the full length video (sorry for the off to the side view) and many pics in the gallery down below. (Yes there was still some Tits and Ass) The contest ran way over, I stayed to record and get pics, and missed the photo pit for Rehab over at mainstage.
Mainstage started out with returning gathering performers Rehab, and Rittz who had last year just performed at the bombhouse. It was good to see them both back, but Rittz is one of those artists you don’t want to miss as his potent lyricism comes across so strong. Mad Child is back in the US finally and Swollen Members are performing at the Gathering!!!?!?! This is that one act this year that had that wow factor, and is not something you’d ever expect to see, and it was a epic performance.
KMK Took the stage without Daddy X, and although not a huge fan of a large chunk of KMK’s music, they did play their epic tracks and the crowd ate it up, but you could hear all kinds of questions and concern with the absence of Daddy X from the set.
ICP! Still to this day one of my favorite live performing group ever, whether you like their music, like their lyrics, or hate both – you can not deny the over all atmosphere during a ICP performance, its like doing drugs… only legally. Seeing the faces light up of everyone, the goosebumps as the first song starts, the elation when that first spray of faygo hits everyone. The mud vanishes, the worries of the world disappear and somehow the first 2 songs fly by. You can see how chaotic the photo pit is during the first 2 songs here:
So for everyone who publicly posts one of the pics from the galleries below to their facebook wall, with the link to this review (http://truejuggalofamily.com/6943) in the description and emails firstname.lastname@example.org a link to their facebook page (or in a group) so I can confirm. You will be entered to win Rare Gathering Items to include: 2013 Gathering Charm, 2012 Gathering PRESS PASS, 2012 RV Pass, 2011 RV Pass, 2013 Big Balla Pass, 2010 Gathering Charm, and possibly some other stuff.
The stage is way high as i mentioned before and was one of the stalest parts of the gathering as a photographer, it was like shooting at 2nd stage the whole time… Multiple times during the week press was removed from the mix after 2 songs. Sometimes you get zero good shots during three songs at a great venue in great conditions. So 2 songs with a super high stage, brutal beam lighting that where red for way to long during most sets, then during ICP all of a sudden every press person at the grounds whether taking pictures or not shoved into the photo pit, leaving movement limited made it rough, yet at the time none of that seems to matter because its the Clowns!
So in years past and during tours, press is typically given some access to Faygo Armageddon. Some of my best pictures have come from on the stage during Faygo Armageddon. When asking previously in the week was given a “I am not sure”. So myself, some other press, and the Wrestlers who always get pulled up watched the show from the sidelines. ICP had a very long set covering multiple songs including Burning Up which started off with a Man on Fire walking across the stage a few times. I wish i had been in the photo pit for this as it was truly amazing to see.
When they started putting the wrestlers up, security indicated that press would not be going up at all, however Staff was going to go check one last time – but never came back. At the point that faygo started flying, I just tried to get in a position to take the best pictures possible from the ground. Some turned out pretty good, multiple Juggalos piled over me and then the Barricade past security and got pulled up on stage by those already up there, utter chaos as every Faygo Armageddon is, and then the fireworks started to go off. This used to be the end of the gathering, but for two years now its just the end of Main Stage for the night. Covered in Feathers, Faygo, and who knows what else, I had to hit the shower, make sure the cameras didn’t take any damage and try and get ready to come down from the excitement of the clowns to catch the rest of the night.
Blowfly – overly vulgar in a funny way. Not someone I am familiar with but he got the crowds attention with his lyrics.
Kung Fu Vampire – one of the best performances of the gathering – Dynamically Fresh and looking sharp – Drums and Bass guitar on the back of the stage while KFV rocked out his tracks – eventually he peeled the shirt and even hit Poncho’s big ass bong. Hitting the stage to grab pictures of Drummer Paxton and Bassist…. Security asked me to leave the stage before I got much even though I had been asked to be there. Mr. Grey was on stage with him at one point. Ran into Mars and Koshir back stage. Koshir hopes to play next year, and I am looking forward to it. If your not familiar with Koshir – get on it! Returning to the photo pit, to get a few more shots. Mars then took the stage and joined KFV.
I caught a brief bit of AMB‘s set before heading back to capture Potluck tear it up on the freak show stage, then hung out with KFV at his merch booth for awhile before giving him a tour of the grounds a bit, stopping at Bluntmans One Stop Shop for a little party they had going on there. Suddenly the sun was up and KFV was like “Ohh Shit, the Sun, take me back to my van” after which I hit the RV for some much needed sleep.
Sunday: I woke up to find everyone of the TJF crew besides the ones who rode with me had split, and the Hogrock Grounds that had seemed more empty all week then I had ever seen them during had gotten even emptier. Many people split early Sunday morning or late Saturday night. They must not of known thatIzzy Dunfore, Sedated, and The Deadly Medly where going to be 3 of the top shows at the gathering. Other then these three shows I spent a lot of the day making sure our area was super clean, getting our stuff packed and ready for the trip home. I did catch part of the Beach Boys BBQ Blowout Bash Blast – the Guns N Roses tribute band that was up when I was there sucked pretty hard, but the bash looked like everyone was having a great time.
Izzy Dunfore – Dressed up and performed a mix of old and new tracks, the crowd that was there enjoyed it, and Izzy hung out with them after his set, sold some merch, signed some autographs and he was still there when
Sedated – took the stage, after getting a advance copy of his new album “Hit Record” not to mention watching his videos for the past year, it was good to see him hit a stage and do it all live. A powerful performance – I seen him connect with multiple members of the audience on a personal level and never missed a beat. Tossing out free music autographed CD’s from the stage, performing for fallen Lo AseOne, and captivating everyone at 2nd stage.
Deadly Medly – consisted of ICP, ABK, Boondox, Vanilla Ice, Big Hoodoo, Legz Diamond, AMB, and Jumpsteady – doing a round robin of their popular tracks, and with the exception of the Legz Diamond tracks it flowed really well. I enjoy Legz Diamond and the Purple Gangs live performance, but it was a bit out of place in the Deadly Medly, in concert they build on you and its good shit, but a song tossed in the mix of the other artists randomly just seemed completely out of place. Everyone at the GoTJ was in the audience and with the exception of one asshole in the crowd, everyone was chill and having a great time. Great way to end the gatheirng – not the big flair like years back when it ended with ICP on main stage. Last years deadly medly seemed to last longer and have a more family meaning to the ending, but now its all over which is always sad. Lot of cars started to leave the grounds.
We hung out a few hours, typically I like to stay till daylight and help clean up a bit more, but our RV crew had stuff to get back for, so we took off around 4am and headed home. A very quiet and uneventful ride home, and the return to work – Already missing the gathering and even though Hallowicked and Juggalo Day are on the horizon for this ninja I hope – nothing compares to being home amongst the Juggalos and Juggalettes at Hogrock.